The Best Portable Appetizers of 2021

Party Pleasers

Who doesn’t love being passed a delicious little treat at a wedding reception? We all adore those small appetizers, amuse bouchées, and light bites, don’t we? And, with easy to hold and eat options you can make it easier for your guests to enjoy all the deliciousness. So we’ve sourced the best portable (and yummy!) appetizers for 2021. There are options in cool shot glass shooters to delectables served on a skewer. Just keep reading for ideas of which pleasing tidbits you’ll want to serve to your favorite folks.

Serve ‘Em A Shot Glass

Nothing is easier to carry around than a little glass. So there’s the handiness factor. And you can really pack a flavorful punch in little glasses. Almost any food you can imagine, you can miniaturize for your guests. Everything from a charcuterie board to french fries can be scaled down to work perfectly. We love the creative all-in-one concepts people have developed to entice guests. Like these joyful mini grilled cheeses perched atop savory shots of tomato soup!

Or, these darling roasted cauliflower soup shots, each garnished with a dash of paprika on top plus a breadstick spiral.

Perhaps you’d prefer to serve a mini stuffed pork loin with cherry tomatoes and tossed greens? Yes, please! We’ll be taking two of these.

Maybe a refreshing shot glass of feta, olives, and sundried tomatoes is more your vibe. We suggest serving this delicious recipe by Appetizer Addiction. You could even whip up a batch yourself to sample before your wedding day.

We’d follow this tray of shrimp shooters around the whole venue. Yes, shrimp cocktail in a shot glass. Yes, lemon wedge. Yes, cocktail sauce. Yes.

Who loves french fries? Everybody, right? We’d LOVE to have this cute little jar of fries and dipping sauce in our hands during any happy occasion. Nom nom. The only problem is deciding between ranch or ketchup.

You could also present sweet French toast and syrup shots to your guests. These would be especially well-received passed around at the end of the reception.

We think these little charcuterie board inspired shots would be a huge hit. Don’t you wish you had one right now?

Pass Around Some Skewers

Another way to serve moveable munchies is on skewers. Such a variety of tidbits can be threaded onto sticks. Easy to pick up and carry, they are another perfect way to provide portable appetizers. Any small food items work well presented this way. Not only are they delicious but these are easy to make ahead if you are catering your wedding yourself. One way to do a skewer? Put a delicious seasoned serving of cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls and basil on a wooden skewer.

These Gouda and Peach skewers are an elevated take on an old-school classic: cheese and pineapple. They are the perfect bite of sweet fruit, and savory cheese. And the sprinkle of fresh thyme gives these treats an extra oomph.

Proof that appetizers on a stick can be elegant, these layered smoked salmon appetizers check all the boxes for finger food: they’re pretty, delicious, can be served at room temperature, AND can be made ahead.

Watermelon and feta cubes make a refreshing and fulfilling appetizer option. These tiny treats are served up on the dearest little heart picks.

Craving Caprese? Present your guest with some skewers with all the makings of the signature Italian salad. A crouton of bread, salami, red pepper, tomato, and mozzarella all drizzled in balsamic vinegar combine to make a delectable appetizer.

Another tasty option is a Cuban sandwich on a stick.

You could go the comfort food route and offer your guests some pepperoni pizza on skewers. We are confident that these will go very, very fast.

And possibly the best idea for a portable appetizer of all are these adorable Mini Spaghetti Nests and Italian Meatballs!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this roundup of portable goodies and will find inspiration to use at least one of these ideas for your special day!

Josh & Ashlea’s Romantic River Wedding

Josh and Ashlea’s Romantic Riverfront Wedding

The Setting

Ashlea and Josh exchanged their forever vows this spring on the banks of the picturesque Watauga River. For their venue, they chose The Barn at Bee Cliff in Carter County, Tennessee. This romanticly rustic riverfront location is nestled under a soaring cliff and features an unbelievably scenic spot for a wedding. Luckily, the super talented photographer Sam Bond was on hand to capture every precious moment.

The Dress

Ashlea found her dream dress with us at The Gilded Gown. She chose a gorgeous Ivory and Cashmere dress with lots of lovely lace appliques, off-shoulder sleeves, and a flowy a-line skirt. The romantic silhouette looked equally gorgeous hanging in front of the cool macrame arch and in the barn window.

The Glam Squad

Ashlea was absolutely radiant on her wedding day. Her awesome glam squad included makeup by Aesthetics by Hannah and hair by Summer Smith. And, isn’t her eucalyptus crown amazing!?!

The Wedding Party

Josh and Ashlea chose their closest loved ones to represent them as bridesmaids and groomsmen. In addition, the happy couple had both of their sweet families on hand to witness their wedding.

The Ceremony

The ceremony was filled with so much love and laughter. And, the most adorable ring bearer and flower girl ever!

The look on Josh’s face as he watches Ashlea walk towards him is so precious.

And Ashlea’s sweet emotions are evident as she prepares to say, “I Do!”

The Reception

The reception was held in the amazing barn on the property. The barn was designed and built by owner John Allen. John’s handicraft can be seen throughout the barn which is a showplace of rustic charm. And this happy couple loved celebrating their special day with all their loved ones. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed visiting with each other surrounded by all the homespun beauty. There was so much joy as the couple’s loved ones mingled amongst the vintage woods of cedar, knotty pine, red oak, ash, and poplar. To be sure, the feeling of romance was in the air. And everyone had a great time underneath the soaring 30-foot ceiling, accented by fabulous trusses strung with decorative lights.

Their bartender Emilie Burke of Dixie EM’s Event Bartending kept everyone’s glasses topped off. And the DJ from Beards and Beats Music had everyone out on the dance floor!

Love and joy positively radiates from all the photos.

The couple’s beautiful berry-topped naked cake was by Amber Arrington with Sugar Dipped Delights.

The Details

Every detail of this special day was beyond thoughtful. Like the favors which included vintage glasses and cookies from The Cookie Crate.

The couple both wrote their heartfelt and touching vows in the dearest little leather bound notebooks.

Best of all they used corn hole game boards for their “guest book”! This way the Hortons will be able to remember their sweet day for years to come. Every time they have a gathering or cookout in the future and pull out their corn hole set, they can reflect on all the kind messages they received at their wedding.

The Future

The future is bright for Josh and Ashlea. With the love and support of each other and all of their friends and family they will build the most beautiful life together.

Super Affordable $499 Wedding Dresses

Want a wedding dress for less than $500?

Are you a bride on a budget searching for a dream dress at an affordable price? Is your dress budget $500 or less? If so, read on to see what we rounded up for you that’s in stock this Spring at The Gilded Gown.

Options for Every Style & Size

We always stock dresses in all sizes from 00-32 with some priced at just $499! Even better, you don’t have to sacrifice your style to save money, as we have gorgeous gowns for all wedding visions. Boho, Traditional, Outdoor, Beach, Sweet, Rustic, Glam…whatever your bridal vibe is… we’ve got options just for you!

So scroll down to see our current lineup of lovely dresses priced at just $499. And don’t forget to schedule your one-on-one appointment with a friendly and professional Gilded Gown stylist to try on your favorites.

Pleated English Net Gown with Plunging V-Neck

Make your day magical in this soft English Net Grecian gown with a stunning illusion bodice. And, the matching plunging V-neckline, sides, and deep back adds serious romance. You’ll be comfy all day too since the skirt is lined in Jersey. We have this in stock in a size 2 in Misty Rose/Sand/Ivory. Oh, and it’s just $499!

Two-Piece Tulle Ballgown with Beaded Sweetheart Bodice

Let’s hear it for this very unique dress with a sweetheart bustline and a tulle ball gown skirt. We are heart-eyed over the dreamy sequin embellishments adorning the bodice of this two-piece set. The ball gown skirt is made of swishy tulle and has a chapel-length train. Available in Ivory/Silver in size 0, and Sand/Silver in size 8 for $499.

Empire Sweetheart Chiffon with a Corset Back

Look stunning on your wedding day in this beachy plus-size wedding dress. This one is just perfect for destination weddings. The romantic embellishment on the center of the sweetheart neckline features loads of bling with beads, pearls, and rhinestones. The floaty chiffon skirt is perfect to twirl with happiness in. And, it’s easy to get a custom fit in the bust with the lace-up corset back. Easy, breezy, packable, and just $499. We’ve got one left in stock in ivory in a size 30.

English Net A-line Gown with Tiered Skirt

Outdoor wedding? Why not walk through the gardens or fields in this whimsical English Net gown? The pleated bodice is framed by soft straps that hug your shoulders to the back of the gown. Soft trim lace at the waist is mirrored down the circular cut skirt. Pleasingly priced at $499 at The Gilded Gown. In stock in Misty Rose/Sand/Ivory in sizes 4 and 10.

Organza and Satin Ball Gown with Basque Waistline

Check out this sweet organza and satin ball gown featuring a sweetheart neckline, Basque waistline, lace-up corset back, and sweep train. This one is well-suited for the traditional bride and well-priced at $499. In stock in size 000 and size 8, both in blush/ivory.

Embellished Illusion Scoop Neck 3/4 Sleeve Chiffon Dress

This 3/4 lace sleeve gown flawlessly caters to the fashion-savvy bride seeking a classic design that covers her arms. Beautiful corded lace with sparkling stones accentuates the pretty sheer sleeves and bodice. And, the flowing chiffon A-line skirt is very flattering. Available for a mere $499. In Ivory, size 28. Yay.

Venice lace fit and flare dress

If you love lace, you’re gonna adore this lovey Venice lace fit and flare wedding dress featuring a sweetheart neckline. We’ve got one left in a size 4 in Alabaster/Ivory for $499.

Slim Jersey Gown with Beaded Sweetheart Bodice

Okay, we snuck one in here that’s even LESS than $499. Unbelievably priced at $399 this chic jersey dress is a vision in simplicity. The straight silhouette is complemented with a sweetheart neckline with just the right amount of beading. Come claim yours in ivory/silver in either a size 0, size 4, or size 8 at The Gilded Gown.

Ivory V-Neck with Detachable Overskirt

Destination brides, we have an amazing option for you. This one is light as a feather, the overskirt is detachable and it’s just $499. We have just one left in Ivory/Silver in size 0.

Strapless Lace Gown with Sweetheart Neckline

We love a classic bridal look, and this one certainly is. Designed in corded allover lace A-line dress accentuated with a sweetheart neckline. Timeless, beautiful, and easy to accessorize. Priced at $499, and available in size 4 in ivory.

Tiered Tulle Ball Gown with Horsehair Trim

When you are searching for a princess gown with a unique twist consider this delicate ballgown. This strapless sweetheart gown features sequined embroidered lace, a tiered tulle skirt with floating appliques, and a horsehair hem. In stock now in size 2 and size 8 in Sand/Blush for just $499.

Short-Sleeve Lace Peplum Fit and Flare Gown

A vision of elegance in allover lace, this short-sleeve peplum gown is serving up lots of class. The lace bodice pairs with a satin skirt to create a soft, sophisticated wedding day look. It’s finished with a detachable lace peplum, so you can wear it with or without. We have just one left in a size 8, ivory, for $499.

Wild & Whimsical Wedding Bouquets for 2021

Time to WOW!

We are so inspired by the wildest wedding bouquets we’re seeing in 2021. These floral creations are bursting with fun and whimsy. And, after last year we are all ready for some carefree, untamed abundance, right? It’s time to WOW! So take a look at these bountiful beauties and see which one inspires you most. Are you loving the Horizontal or Oversized? Whichever style you like best we’ve got your floral fantasies covered.

Horizontal Bouquets

Horizontal bouquets are bunches of flowers beautifully draped in a wide rather than tall arrangement. Both sides of this type of bouquet extend outward to give it a longer, more linear shape. We adore the vast expanse of vines, branches, and florals that can either lay in your arms or drape out to the sides. And, they certainly make for a lush alternative to a typical hand-tied bouquet. This shape is perfect for you if you are a bride who loves flowers and who wants a bouquet that makes a lavish, romantic statement. These relaxed bouquets are so devastatingly dramatic, in the best way. Check out this stunner by The Pear Blossom!!

We are vibing on this vibrant horizontal bouquet by Ponderosa & Thyme:

We found some jaw-dropping horizontal creations on Pinterest, too:

Oversized Bouquets

Oversized Bouquets are another bountiful option for your special day. Exuberantly lavish, giant arrangements are perfect for any bride seeking something over-the-top, with tons of style and personality. Take, for example, this epic bouquet by GERTIE MAES which is absolutely stunning. This lovely creation is composed of king protea, peonies, and garden roses. Oh, and it also has blooming grevillea, thistle, heather, and clematis, too. And, just for good measure, the designer also included ranunculus, snapdragons, delphinium, succulents, and eucalyptus. When you go oversize with your bouquet you can fit in all your favorite flowers with ease.

Photography Archetype Studio

Take a look at this wild and wonderful bouquet by Florals & Co. We think you’ll love this one which is totally overflowing with lots of stylish dried elements, giant roses, and anemones.

Photography Wilde Visual

What about the wow factor of a few we sourced on Pinterest? We love the pops of yellow in this beauty:

And the brightness of this cheerful cascade of flowers in the prettiest pink tones:

Let’s Celebrate with Flowers!

There is definitely a good reason for the current trend of “bigger is better” in the bridal floral world.  Since so many brides have had to scale back on the size of their weddings due to the pandemic many are choosing to focus their money on some swanky statement florals. But also because things are looking so much brighter for this year’s upcoming weddings, brides are in a celebratory mood. We can’t think of a better way to say “cheers” to a brighter future than by toting an amazing armload of wild and whimsical flowers down the aisle.

We hope you have been as captivated by these wild, full of whimsy wedding bouquets as we have.

Handle Last-Minute Bridal Emergencies Like A Pro

Your wedding day is going to be one of the happiest days of your life. But a few little emergencies can pop up that might become stressful and exhausting. No worries, though! With a bit of easy preparation, you can effectively deal with the most common last-minute mishaps like a pro. So whether you are planning an extravagant wedding or a simple backyard ceremony, you can get prepared for any mistakes that pop up. Use our pro tips and handy bridal emergency kit checklist to tackle any mishap that might happen throughout the day. 

Below is a list of common day-of emergencies you might experience, and some quick fixes to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable wedding.

Photo by luiisrtz from Pexels

A Bride Needs to Eat (and Drink!)

When you are about to walk down the aisle, you might get lost in the stress and the chaos of the wedding. One of the most important things you can do is eat (and drink) throughout the day, especially if you plan on consuming any alcoholic beverages to celebrate.

Photo by Lisa Fotios at Pexels

Having light snacks and lots of water on hand while you’re getting ready will give you the energy and hydration you need to make it through all the festivities ahead. With the million other details you need to focus on for your wedding day, it is easy to forget to eat and drink. So be sure to pack some snacks like granola bars, fruit, and nuts, and also some bottled water just in case. Or you could even have your snacks delivered to you if you are in a pinch. PRO TIP: Drinking lots of water will keep you going and glowing.

Dress Disasters

Between your wedding dress and the bridal party’s dresses, there will be a chance something will rip or stain. But by bringing just a few items you can fix any dress emergencies. Make sure that you have a stain remover pen and a small sewing kit available at a moment’s notice. These will allow for a quick solution to an otherwise major problem. You may also want to keep safety pins, scissors, a lint roller, and double-sided tape on hand just in case. Static spray is a great thing to bring as well. No one wants to go down the aisle in a clingy dress. PRO TIP: White Chalk can cover a stain in a pinch.

Photo by Anna Nekrashevich at Pexels

OH NO! A Breakout!

You can spend months preparing your skin to look clear and flawless for the big day, but breakouts CAN happen. Waking up to a blemish on your face the morning of your wedding might seem like a nightmare. Make sure that you have some full coverage concealer on hand in case you need a quick fix. You can also try using ice or a paste made of crushed-up aspirin and water to reduce any inflammation. PRO TIP: Avoid trying any new products on your face at least one month before your wedding day to avoid any issues.

Minor Medical Issues

Upset tummy, allergy attack, or a little cut; these things can happen. Be prepared for any potential medical situations by bringing along allergy meds, antacids, bandaids, eye drops, pain relievers, tissues, and tweezers in your kit.

A Hair Out of Place

Let’s face it, the wedding day is not the time for a fly-away hair. Pack things like bobby pins, hairspray, and a mirror to combat any hair issues. PRO TIP: Deep condition your hair a week before the wedding to keep your locks lush.

Not Feeling Fresh

To feel your absolute best on your special day be sure to bring along things to keep you on point. Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash will have your mouth minty fresh. A nail file and clear polish will come in handy, too. Also consider bringing along some baby wipes, powder, and deodorant. Keep your face beautiful with makeup and your lips hydrated with balm. PRO TIP: Pop in a mint right before you walk down the aisle.

Miscellaneous Mishaps

A few other possible emergencies can be easily avoided. Bring along some cash because you never know when you might need it. Pack bug spray and a phone charger. Even throw in some earring backs in case you lose one. You’re going to be the best-prepared bride on the planet, and no miscellaneous mishaps are gonna ruin your vibe. PRO TIP: No matter what goes wrong, the day is always going to be very right. Because you’re saying “I Do” to the love of your life and no minor emergencies will ever change that.

You Got This!

Making it through your wedding day without a hitch can seem stressful and intimidating because of everything that could go wrong. You never know what mishaps the day might throw at you. But simply taking the time to prepare yourself for the unexpected will help to give you peace of mind before you walk down the aisle. So get a tote and fill it with everything on our DIY Bridal Emergency Kit checklist and head to your wedding super prepared!

DIY Bridal Emergency Kit Checklist

Lilac Wedding Palette, So Romantic For Spring 2021

Lilac Wedding Palette, So Romantic for Spring 2021

We are loving a lilac aesthetic lately. To us, this sun-washed light purple hue totally delivers dreamy, romantic vibes. And we think this color paired with other soft pastels is a palette perfectly suited for spring weddings in 2021.

And, if you decide on this stunning soft violet color for your day we also highly encourage you to incorporate lilac flowers. Because, lilacs are not only gorgeous but are also fragrant, edible, and medicinal. In addition, lilacs symbolize love. So lilacs are absolutely perfect for a day celebrating that very subject!

If you are sold on using lovely lilac (and lilacs) for your wedding day, we invite you to read on for lots of inspiration. We’ve sourced loads of lilac-inspired ideas from flowers and decor to refreshments and favors.

Lilac Floral Elements

Pair lilacs with greenery and flowers in complimentary shades in your bouquet to wow on your way down the aisle.

We love the organic feel of this horizontal bouquet brimming with lilacs.

Lilacs pair especially well with succulents and sweet pops of white.

His boutonniere can also include delicate touches of lilac.

Lilac Decor

Surround your guests with your color story by using your scheme in your tablescapes and decor. Drape your table with a sheer swath of lilac fabric that puddles to the floor for a wildly romantic feel.

Set a rustic mood with a long outdoor table brimming with a row of carefree lilac flower arrangements.

Use a garland of pale purple and coordinating accessories to embellish your cake table.

Lilac Refreshments

Treat your loved ones to a signature lilac cocktail, like this beautiful one aptly named “True Love” from,

True Love
1.5 ounces Harmonie
.75 ounces Gin
.5 ounces Simple Syrup
.5 ounces freshly squeezed lemon
Shake all ingredients vigorously and pour into a champagne flute or rocks glass, top with champagne and orchid flower garnish

Delicate wedding cakes in hues of lilac are so visually stunning, like this adorable ruffled confection from the Pastry Studio.

And this two-tiered beauty from De La Creme Studio:

Lilac Details

How many times have you heard the expression, “It’s all in the details?” A million times, right? Well, it’s kinda true. So make sure to add in lots of little lilac touches to echo your theme. Set the tone before your day with lilac-inspired save the dates and invitations.

Have some M&Ms custom color matched to your vision:

Find yourself the most magical pair of lilac shoes:

And if your tastes run towards casual and comfy, we suggest some pastel-hued vans for both of you.

Lilac Wedding Favor

Nothing signals spring like the blooming of fragrant lilac flowers. And since these beautiful blossoms are also edible and delicious you could use them for some darling wedding favors. This way your friends and family can bring home a taste of your day. So get some pretty glass jars with lids and make this gorgeous lilac flower-infused honey. Check out for their wonderful DIY.

However you decide to add lilac to your wedding, we know it will be beautiful.

“The spring is fresh and fearless
And every leaf is new,
The world is brimmed with moonlight,
The lilac brimmed with dew.

Here in the moving shadows
I catch my breath and sing –
My heart is fresh and fearless
And over-brimmed with spring.”

~ Sara Teasdale

Affordable Wedding Dresses 2021

Are you a bride looking for an affordable wedding dress? If so, then read on to see this season’s best options for well-priced yet still beautiful gowns. With the addition of a few finishing touches, like a veil and bouquet, these gorgeous dresses can take you down any type of wedding day aisle in style, from seaside to chapel, from field to barn, from mountaintop to cathedral.

Lacy Beaded Overskirt $599

We can totally see this glam dress at a city ceremony. This chic gown features beaded spaghetti straps as well as a beaded waist. Best of all, it has a sheer, romantic overskirt. From the deep v neck & back, lavish embroidery to the amazing price of $599 this is a wonderful option for brides looking to save money on their dress.

Plunging V-Neck Lace A-line $899

Where are our rustic brides on a budget? ‘Cuz you are gonna love this affordable all-over lace wedding dress for $899. This one is pretty from its plunging V neckline to the open V back finished with a sweep train. Striking pleats display the A-line skirt and the peekaboo slit.

Sleeveless Lace Sheath $699

Beach brides? We’re here for you with this mesmerizing full-length bridal gown. Image yourself in this elegant allover lace stunner against a breathtakingly scenic ocean backdrop. All eyes will be on you as you take this sleeveless dress through the sand with its flattering illusion deep V-neckline and matching cut-out side panels. And the moment you face your fiancee everyone will get a good look at the darling V-shaped open back and subtle swish of a train. Budget-friendly, beautiful, and very packable. Done and done for $699.

Cap Sleeve Trumpet $999

This cap sleeve cutie features a sweetheart neckline on a fitted bodice. We can totally envision this one at an outdoor afternoon wedding. At just $999 the trumpet silhouette is super flattering, and the sweep train is darling. Our favorite part, though, is the lovely embroidered lace throughout (especially the sheer lace back!). Yes, please!

Embroidered Lace Trumpet $999

We are heart-eyed over this gorgeous long dress, and we’re pretty sure you will be too. This one is designed with intricate lace embroidery throughout and features a deep v-neckline with a scalloped edge. A dress like this truly flatters with its’ curve-hugging trumpet silhouette. So very easy to wear with a convenient back zipper and finished with a sweep train. Simple, elegant, and perfectly priced at $999.

Floral Embroidered A-Line $699

Embellished with beautiful floral embroidery, this fabulous gown will have you absolutely floating down the aisle. You’ll love the sleeveless bodice that offers a plunging V neckline with a sheer inset. And the dual beaded belt. Designed in flowy chiffon, the A-line skirt ripples in pleats to the floor. The back also has a flattering V cut with easy zipper closure. 

Three-Fourth Sleeve Lace A-Line $699

We can totally see this classic three-fourth sleeve beauty at a traditional church ceremony. At a wallet-friendly $699 this gorgeous gown features a scalloped v-neckline with lots of allover lace details. The flowy A-line silhouette is easy to wear and the tulle skirt will have you twirling with joy.

So if you are a bride who doesn’t want to spend a fortune on your wedding dress, schedule an appointment with us at The Gilded Gown. We’ll show you plenty of beautiful options that will leave you with lots of money left in your wedding day budget for all your important details.

Leslie & Jordan’s Heartfelt Museum of Appalachia Wedding

Leslie & Jordan’s Heartfelt

Museum of Appalachia Wedding

Leslie and Jordan Bruce exchanged vows this past September on their two-year dating anniversary. This sweet couple picked the perfect weather for their special day which was expertly captured by their photographer, family friend Kelly Howard of Chattanooga. And they choose to say their “I Dos” in a picturesque and uniquely Tennessee setting, The Museum of Appalachia.

They Picked The Perfect Setting

The Museum of Appalachia which is situated on 60+ pastoral acres, and surrounded by split rail fences, offered a captivating setting for this event.  Reminiscent of days gone by, the Museum has a beautiful landscape, rustic cabins, barns, and a quaint chapel. Leslie and Jordan created memories to last a lifetime in the beautiful glow of the afternoon at this historic treasure.

She Dressed The Part

Leslie chose the prettiest Point D’esprit flutter sleeve wedding dress with a darling corset tie bodice from The Gilded Gown. She looked so romantic and soooooo beautiful. And we love what Leslie had to say about her dress shopping experience with us. “I bought my dress from y’all and it was the best decision in my wedding plans by far. Thank you so much!”

She Cherishes the Moments

Leslie shared with us some priceless moments from the day. She says, “I was hot, and I pretty much blacked out from the heat and from my nerves. But I found that it was the little things that I remember most. For one thing, Jordan and I didn’t have the first look as most people do. But his daughter Tylee’s reaction when we saw each other was even more heartwarming than if we had done one.” 

They Took Some Time Together

“Immediately after the ceremony Jordan and I took 15 or so minutes in the suite to ourselves. We expressed our vows in private and had a moment to take it all in together – that was the best part of the day!”

She Didn’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Leslie handled one small glitch with good humor. “I was so excited I even forgot to grab my bouquet to walk back down the aisle after we exchanged vows. I didn’t even know who had it for pictures, lol!”

A Dream Bouquet

Talented Knoxville Florist LB Floral made Leslie’s gorgeous bouquet. LB Floral is a popular full-service wedding and event florist serving East Tennessee located in West Knoxville.  And, they also provide delivery, installation, and tear-down services.  We love that they customize their beautiful flowers to perfectly fit every wedding vision! They certainly captured Leslie’s carefree, boho vibe.

Celebrating Individuality

We love the mismatched bridesmaids wearing complementary colors. And their unique footwear and accessories showcase their individual personalities. The flower crowns are a beautiful unifying element for this lovely lineup. And boots with the dress are always a WIN!

The Brightest Future

Please join us in wishing this beautiful couple every happiness as they face their future together.

A Guide to Wine At Your Wedding

A Guide to Wine At Your Wedding

We’ve collaborated with the experts at FirstLeaf to provide you the best tips on how to serve the perfect wine at your wedding. Wondering which wine pairs with a particular protein? We’ve got you! No clue how much wine you’ll need for your guests? We’ve got the formulas to help you to decide exactly how much vino to purchase. Read on for A Guide To Wine At Your Wedding.

Do The “Research”

There’s a trick to choosing the perfect wedding wine: and it is doing “research!” This means you get to taste test several different varieties and wineries to find your favorites. Then choose a few wines you absolutely love. These will be the ones to serve on your special day. The fact that you handpicked the wines will provide a personalized touch.

One good way to make a wedding day your own is to select wines that you have sampled and enjoyed. If you aren’t sure where to start, you could go to a tasting at a local wine shop, visit a local winery, or consider a wine club subscription like Firstleaf.

Of course, there are some requirements — like pairing your picks with the right food and making sure you buy enough bottles. But this handy guide will answer all the technical questions you may have so you can get back to the fun part: Wine.

Choose the Perfect Wedding Wine

The perfect wedding wine is something that can be enjoyed by novice wine drinkers and enthusiasts alike. At a large event like a wedding, the food flavors are typically a bit muted. Every table will have a picky eater or two, or someone who can’t handle spice. Similarly, a wedding isn’t the best time to experiment with oddball pairings or exceptionally strong wines. 

A wedding wine should also pair with the main entree or entrees you are serving. If you are giving guests a choice of entree, you’d ideally give them a choice of wine as well. 

One strong principle of wine pairing is place-specific food pairings. An entree featuring bright Mediterranean flavors like lemon should be paired with wine from that region or one with a similar climate like Napa Valley. Likewise, an entree featuring beef should be paired with wine from a region where cattle are raised like Argentina or Eastern Washington.

To Pair With Poultry

The best wedding wine pairing with poultry depends on the flavors of your specific dish. Serving chicken with a tomato-based sauce? A red wine from Italy could be a good choice.  Another consideration is the mix of white and dark meat. If you are serving dark meat, which tends to have a deeper flavor, you might want to consider a wine with stronger flavors like a chardonnay. If you are serving only chicken breast, the lighter flavors of pinot grigio may be a better choice. 


Beef’s deep, intense flavor calls for a full-flavored wine to match. Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic pairing with beef. If you decide to go with a cab sav you won’t lack options as nearly every wine-growing region offers one. By going with such a popular wine, you could easily choose one from a place that has special meaning for you as a couple, making the choice even more personalized.

If you’re looking for other options, consider this rule of thumb: the fattier the cut, the stronger the wine should be. Lean steaks like sirloin would benefit from a more subtle flavor. If you’re having a fatty cut like prime rib, go bold.


All fish are not created equal so the old “white wine with fish” rule isn’t necessarily one to follow. Fattier, stronger flavored fish like salmon or mahi-mahi pair well with lighter red wines such as pinot noir. If you do prefer a white wine with one of these stronger flavored fish, go for a stronger white, like a chardonnay. The sauce is a consideration as well. A stronger-flavored sauce, like teriyaki, might call for a stronger-flavored wine.

Mild fish like cod or halibut are best when paired with white wine. As with chicken, consider playing off the flavors that go along with the dish. Light Mediterranean flavors like lemon and herbs might call for a lighter wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. If a stronger flavor is being used, a stronger white like a Riesling may be an option.


There’s no hard and fast rule for pairing wine with pork. Still, pork is more delicately flavored than beef and has hints of sweetness that a strong wine will overpower. Pairings for pork should occupy a middle ground. Medium-bodied red wines like Merlot are as strong as you should consider for fattier cuts like ham or ribs. And for leaner cuts, don’t go any lighter than a medium-bodied white such as Pinot Grigio.


The perfect pairing for a vegetarian main dish will match the heartiness of the wine with the heartiness of the vegetable. Seasonality is an important consideration as well.

Hopefully, you’re able to use local, in-season vegetables — which will help drive your choice. At a winter wedding, you’ll probably want a warm, hearty wine. And root vegetables, an ideal pairing, will be the freshest ones available. Consider a dish heavy in root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and squash — or a deep-flavored bean stew. Sounds hearty, right? And both would be terrific with a popular red wine like cabernet sauvignon, merlot, or syrah

If you’re having a warm-weather wedding, delicate vegetables like local greens and in-season fruits would make for the best vegetarian main, and you’d probably want to stick with white wine. A salad with local fresh fruit would pair well with a wine with fruit notes to match like Riesling. 

Pair by Season

The time of year ought to play into both your choice of food and your choice of wine. At fall or winter weddings, there’s a good chance your guests will be coming in out of the cold, shedding their overcoats, and looking for a way to warm up. A hearty meal paired with a red wine like a Syrah or Tempranillo will brighten their mood. A light salad and a fruity white wine may not have the same effect.

Spring is a temperate time of year, and a good time to sample wines from the warmer growing regions. Areas like California, Australia, and Spain enjoy a perpetual spring and produce bright wines to match. 

If you’re having an indoor summer wedding with the benefit of air conditioning, your food choices should drive your wine selection choices. 

For an outdoor summer wedding, you should keep in mind that your guests are likely to be hot. A wine that can be chilled — White, Rose, or Sparkling — is an easy choice for sipping during the whole reception. But for the foodservice (depending on your main course) you may want to have something bolder on hand. If you’re serving steak, you’ll want some full-bodied reds like cabernet sauvignon or merlot to pair. 

How Much Wine Will You Need?

The amount of wine you should buy for your wedding depends on several factors.

  • Number of guests attending (and also drinking)
  • Duration of the wedding/reception
  • Whether you are serving other alcoholic beverages

To start with, figure out how many alcoholic beverages you’ll need overall. The basic rule of thumb for any celebration is 2 drinks per person for the first hour, and 1 drink per person for every hour thereafter.

So, if you were having a 4-hour reception for 100 adults, you could expect to serve 200 drinks in the first hour, and a further 100 drinks each in hours 2, 3, and 4: 500 drinks.

Of course, you may have reasons to adjust that estimate. If your reception is in the middle of the day rather than the evening, you can expect people to drink a little less. And if you know that a certain portion of the guest list doesn’t drink at all, you can bring your estimate down (of course, you’ll want to provide them with non-alcoholic options). 

How much wine should you buy if you’re only serving wine?

If you’re only serving wine, figure on about a bottle per person for a longer event (four hours or more).

How do you choose a mix of red and white?

Choose the mix of red and white based on the time of year, and the food you’re planning to serve. A light meal of chicken during a summer outdoor wedding? You might almost exclusively select white wines. Serving prime rib in the middle of winter? Going red-heavy would make more sense. 

How much wine should you buy if you’re also serving beer?

If you’re also serving beer at your wedding, figure on about 1 bottle of wine for every 2 guests for a longer event (four hours or more). People will likely enjoy beer before dinner, then switch to wine with their meal. You should have at least enough for everyone to have two glasses of wine with dinner. 

How much wine should you buy if you’re serving beer and cocktails?

If you’re serving beer, wine, and cocktails at your wedding, providing 1 bottle of wine for every 4 guests should be sufficient. This will provide enough wine for everyone to enjoy a glass with dinner and some overage for those who prefer wine above all else. 

How many glasses of wine in a bottle?

A normal 750-milliliter bottle of wine has five glasses of wine. A case of wine contains 12 bottles or approximately 60 glasses of wine.

Example: How many bottles of wine

do you need for 100 guests?

Let’s take a real-world example: A 100-adult reception, including a cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing, lasting approximately four hours.

How many guests will be drinking?

Let’s say that you know for a fact that 15 people on the guest list don’t drink. That takes our number of drinking guests down to 85.

Based on the guidelines above, 85 drinkers at a 4-hour party can be expected to drink 2 drinks per person in the first hour, and 1 drink every hour thereafter. So we’ll be serving 

170 drinks (2 x 85) during hour 1, and 

255 drinks (3 x 85) during hours 2, 3, and 4 (1 per person per hour) 

The total number of drinks we need to provide is 170 + 255 or 425 drinks.

Are you serving other drinks?

Let’s say we also plan to offer a specialty cocktail, and, because our guests are big beer fans, purchase two different kegs of beer. We should assume 1 cocktail per person, so that’s 85 drinks. A 15.5-gallon keg contains 124 pints of beer for a total of 248. Between our specialty cocktail and our beer, we’ve taken care of 333 drinks. 

That would leave us with 92 drinks to come from wine or about 18 bottles of wine.

Are you serving a meal?

If you’re serving a meal, especially a sit-down meal with a thoughtfully-considered wine pairing, you may want to assume that guests will drink at least two glasses while they eat. So, in the case of our example, even though our calculator tells us that we only need 92 drinks of wine, we may want to stock enough for everyone to have those two glasses, and plan on 170 glasses of wine or 34 bottles.

Is your wedding in the afternoon or evening?

People tend to drink less at afternoon events than during evening events. At a lunch reception, one glass of wine with the meal is probably all that most people will want. So we might revise our wine estimate down to 85 drinks (1 per person) or 17 bottles of wine.

How many bottles of champagne do you need for a toast?

Champagne and other sparkling wines are sold in 750-milliliter bottles just like regular wine. And just like regular wine, you can count on approximately 5 full glasses of wine per bottle. 

But you don’t need or want a full pour for a champagne toast — only enough for a sip or two. A light pour, approximately halfway, is all that’s needed. So, for a champagne toast, you’ll need about 1 bottle for every 10 drinking guests. For a 100-person event that would mean 10 bottles of sparkling wine.

Example: How many bottles of wine do you need for 100 guests?

Let’s take a real-world example: A 100-adult reception, including a cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing, lasting approximately four hours.

How many guests will be drinking?

Let’s say that you know for a fact that 15 people on the guest list don’t drink. That takes our number of drinking guests down to 85.

Based on the guidelines above, 85 drinkers at a 4-hour party can be expected to drink 2 drinks per person in the first hour, and 1 drink every hour thereafter. So we’ll be serving 

170 drinks (2 x 85) during hour 1, and 

255 drinks (3 x 85) during hours 2, 3, and 4 (1 per person per hour) 

The total number of drinks we need to provide is 170 + 255 or 425 drinks.

Are you serving other drinks?

Let’s say we also plan to offer a specialty cocktail, and, because our guests are big beer fans, purchase two different kegs of beer. We should assume 1 cocktail per person, so that’s 85 drinks. A 15.5-gallon keg contains 124 pints of beer for a total of 248. Between our specialty cocktail and our beer, we’ve taken care of 333 drinks. 

That would leave us with 92 drinks to come from wine or about 18 bottles of wine.

Are you serving a meal?

If you’re serving a meal, especially a sit-down meal with a thoughtfully-considered wine pairing, you may want to assume that guests will drink at least two glasses while they eat. So, in the case of our example, even though our calculator tells us that we only need 92 drinks of wine, we may want to stock enough for everyone to have those two glasses, and plan on 170 glasses of wine or 34 bottles.

Is your wedding in the afternoon or evening?

People tend to drink less at afternoon events than during evening events. At a lunch reception, one glass of wine with the meal is probably all that most people will want. So we might revise our wine estimate down to 85 drinks (1 per person) or 17 bottles of wine.

How many bottles of champagne do you need for a toast?

Champagne and other sparkling wines are sold in 750-milliliter bottles just like regular wine. And just like regular wine, you can count on approximately 5 full glasses of wine per bottle. 

After all this wine talk, you probably will need a Cake Break. Check out some of our tasty blogs on inspirational wedding cakes:

CAKE BREAK: Mini Wedding Cakes are Perfect for 2021

CAKE BREAK: Jaw-dropping Wedding Cakes From Around the World

CAKE BREAK: Inspiring Summer Wedding Cakes

How to Enjoy the Prettiest Prom Dresses of 2021

So 2021 is another one for the record books. This year looks a little different, and prom might unfold in a non-traditional way…But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate in your own special way.  Even if your school has postponed or canceled prom, you can always commemorate in other ways. You deserve the prettiest prom dress ever, and we’ve got some great ideas for how to wear them this year!

Bestie Photo Shoot

Schedule a fun prom fitting at The Gilded Gown where you can find the dress of your dreams. (We have all sizes from 000-34 and lots of beautiful styles to choose from). Then plan a bestie (or BF) photoshoot. Scout out the perfect locale like a hotel lobby, or the painted steps at UT. Hire a local photographer or enlist the help of a family member to take pics and videos. Make sure to get your hair, nails, and makeup done too. You’ll look amazing, have a blast, and have memories to last a lifetime!

Zoom Prom

For people across the country, Zoom has emerged as a super safe way to hang out with friends. What a fun way to celebrate prom! You can still sing and dance with your friends, AND show off your new dress, while maintaining social distancing guidance and preventing possible COVID-19 exposure.

Host A Micro Prom

Consider getting a small group together and hosting a mini prom at a small, local venue. Of course, you’d need to do this when it is safe to do so, and comply with local Covid regulations. You could pool your money to rent a space and set up decor, refreshments, and music. One local option we love: Cook Loft. Located downtown, it’s the perfect hip spot to host an unforgettable evening.

Wouldn’t this dress look amazing in the chic loft setting?

Host Prom At Home

Or, you could all save money and host a micro prom at your house or backyard for free. Enlist family members to help. Have a “prom committee meeting” and assign roles for DJ, food and beverages, and decorations. Invite a few friends or just keep it to your immediate family members. They’ll all love to get in the spirit of the evening and dress up with you! Time to break out that Tux Dad! You can even elect a prom king and queen!

You’ll Need the Prettiest Dress

No matter how your prom night unfolds, whether it is at your school or virtual, you’ll need the prettiest prom dress ever. We’ve compiled some of our fave prom looks of 2021 for you below:

This year’s prom styles include elaborate embellishments like appliques and beading.

Shiny, sparkly sequins are super popular as well.

Plunging V necklines and vibrant colors are trending.

Soft neutrals are another soft-after color story.

We are heart-eyed over rose gold this season!

Navy is another popular color this year.

The most important thing is to enjoy yourself, stay safe and create a memory you will treasure for a lifetime. And, wear the prettiest prom dress you can find at The Gilded Gown. xo

Special Thanks to Gage Talent, and their models Avery, Gabriella, and Kaitlyn. Special Thanks to Team GG Stylists/Models Taylor, Sade, T, and Katelyn. And Special Thanks to Cheyenne.